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In the context of the Mediterranean Host Municipalities Learning Network (HMLN), the CMI organized a capacity building workshop on “Strategic Planning for Local Economic Development in Host Communities”, targeted at local government representatives, local economic development practitioners and experts.
The workshop took place on March 19-23, 2018 in Amman, Jordan, and was organized in partnership with Greater Amman Municipality, the World Bank, UN-Habitat, the German Technical Cooperation (GIZ), with the support of United Cities Local Government – Middle East and Wester Asia (UCLG-MEWA).
The theme "Strategic Planning for Local Economic Development" was identified by the HMLN as one of the priority solutions for host local governments to improve the welfare of their communities in a protracted refugee crisis context. A strategic planning approach to Local Economic Development (LED) can help local governments to better identify their assets and challenges, arbitrate for better integrated actions - such as providing a favorable business environment for investors, facilitating entrepreneurship and home-based businesses - and ultimately better implement LED actions. Developing LED solutions supports host local governments in responding to the forced displacement crisis by enabling refugees and vulnerable populations to contribute to the local welfare.
The HMLN is facilitated by the CMI since May 2016, to strengthen the response capacity of local governments affected by the refugee crisis. The network now consists of about 100 staff and elected representatives from local governments in Jordan, Iraq and Kurdistan, Lebanon, Palestinian territories and Turkey, who participated to face-to-face workshops, webinars, and online discussions on their dedicated virtual platform. For more information on the HMLN: http://bit.ly/2D0XT81
The workshop consisted of a 4-day training and a field visit providing customized methodological tools for host local governments, peer-to-peer exchange of experience, and applied working group session, and was focused particularly on LED strategic planning processes developed by local governments hosting refugees. Participants worked on economic planning, and learned together on improving or developing their local economic development strategies in the context of the refugee crisis.
The regional capacity building workshop aimed at:
41 staff and elected representatives of local governments from Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian territories, Turkey, Iraq, Kurdistan were selected and invited to attend the workshop. Local Government participants were selected through a “Call for Participants”, which was posted on CMI website. Selection process was based on a few eligibility and selection criteria (including relevance to the training topic, completion of a LED self-assessment questionnaire, and active involvement in the HMLN for existing members). In addition, a delegation of 4 representatives from Afghanistan also participated as observers.
The LED self-assessment has been used during the workshop as a baseline for participants to receive feedbacks from their peers and experts, adjust it, and develop their local economic strategy, including: i) economic opportunities and challenges; ii) elements of a strategic vision: definition of possible scope of actions which could impact LED (ex: possible incentives for investors, aspect of business and city environment they could improve, comparative advantage, etc.).